Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Stop 'n Stew

Where's the line between stillness and stuckness? Do you know? One of my clients, a young, pro-active do-gooder in the world of people and politics complains about someone in his life he perceives to be "stuck." From his description, this person sounds depressed to me, but who knows what's really going on? "She needs to learn to move through difficulty constructively," he told me adamantly.

OK. I get what he means. Depression is an inwards spiraling energy that tends to act as a magnet for "negative" experience. Gloom begets gloom. Being a depressive myself, I understand why he wants this person to snap out of it.


Inwards spiraling energy doesn't have to be depression. Sometimes it takes the form of thoughtfulness, reflection. Would lovely Letty of Lettuce Eating have named me the "Queen of Reflection" if I were a person of outwards spiraling energy? Those always on the move don't have time to reflect, to stop and smell the roses. Movers and shakers make terrible philosophers. On the plus side for the outward spiralers, they don't take the time to get depressed either, lucky for them, isn't it?

Sometimes things have to stop for awhile. Otherwise there would be no yogurt, no sourdough bread. There would be no wine or beer, no well water, stalactites and mites. There would be no such thing as meditation. Or wisdom, a phenomena I believe accumulates slowly overtime.

Sometimes a dark night of the soul is the only path to a breakthrough, to the end of old, worn out patterns. Depression often leads to art, sometimes great art. Sometimes not (I think of my own poetry ...)

I guess the trick is to stew just long enough, not too long. But how to know when enough is enough? You tell me, I've never been that great with timing.

Right now I recognize that I've stewed over this topic long enough. The day is sparkling and the dog is eager for a walk. Enough already!


deborah said...

stuck and thoughtful
feel very different from one another
to me
i can't understand how anyone
"outside" could determine which is which

my scope for a couple of days has admonished me not to stay 'stuck' in the tried and true
to venture outward
and differently
advice I have yet to heed

love and more love,

mouse (aka kimy) said...

when I'm stuck I obsess

when I'm still I a)reflect 2) am void of thought 3) feeling at peace

and stewing.....well, there's another topic.

much food for thought/meditation - could it be a stew!

sparkling day here too! the rain has gone....hugs

Steve said...

I think the difference is that reflection can inspire action, while depression actually thwarts it.

Reya Mellicker said...

I agree with you all. And I'm still thinking that maybe obsession, thwarted action, stuckness, might serve its own purpose in the world.

Grief is an example of inwards spiraling energy that is necessary, "unproductive", loving. It was grief over the loss of her mother that made my client feel she is stuck.

Without stuckness, there would be no scotch tape, no glue. Where would Andrew Wyeth be without obsession, or - what's that painter's name, the guy who painted George Washington, in virtually the same pose, over 200 times. Well, where would he be without obsession.

Ghandi was a great example of someone who avoided taking action.

I think this is another level of cultural assumption, one I'm just coming out from under - maybe.

What's the archetype of the hermit, if he/she doesn't represent a person of inwards spiraling energy. He is thought to be wise, though he sits in his cave, all alone, says little, does little.

Oops. Looks like I'm still stewing!

Aileen said...

Oops- I think I'm "stuck" on the part where you said you are a depressive! I haven't seen that in what I know of you.

And Lettuce's name for you "Queen of Reflection" is absolutely perfect!


Reya Mellicker said...

Tonight's stewing yields these thoughts:

Inwards spiraling energy is OK, even "good" as long as the person experiencing it is happy or comfortable. Once we get uncomfortable, we decide it's "bad." That when our nearests and dearests believe we should move 'constructively' away from the discomfort.

I believe wisdom arises as a result of experiencing pain mindfully, with compassion.

I believe that illness and injury are very particular options we have, while in human form, to heal huge chunks of karma ... ... ... whatever that means!

Still stewing, and there's more stewing to be done! Have I mentioned I'm slow? Real slow.


Reya Mellicker said...

Aileen - my sister told me recently that it's just "me" to be anxious and/or depressed. Didn't you see me pacing around at the beginning of the maypole party. Hammer kept telling me to settle down, stop all my twitching. Eventually I did, but, that's me, as Hannah says. Anxious, depressed, but a true mystic and philosopher, too.

Now I really need to STOP stewing!

Barbara said...

I love the para about the yogurt, sourdough bread, wine, and beer. The trick with all of those things is determining the point at which to stop the process. Otherwise it will simply spiral out of control. Maybe that's true for humans as well.

Gary said...

It seems like I am noticing crosses everywhere lately - there again in the top picture and I saw two well formed ones in the clouds on Sunday night. What is going on? It may be a case of something that is always there but it simply stands out more at one time than another.

Now, I am someone who hardly ever gets depressed but I am very reflective. I have lots of energy and am one of those who is constantly on the go but also stops to praise and ponder. The issue of how long is enough to 'stew' has to be different for each of us - and the only one who can answer that question is you. (You meaning ourselves, not you Reya. LOL - Can you imagine that pressure?)

Anonymous said...

this was JUST what I needed to read today-- thank you!!!

~Elizabeth (bluepoppy)

tut-tut said...

I like that notion of fermenting, too. It makes something while seemingly not much is going on; fermenting is good, I think. The end result takes a while, sometimes.

hele said...

Aparently people who never get depressed find it more difficult to cope when they loose all familiar cues. Guess they never had the practice of wandering (wondering) through their mind not knowing where all that is familiar has dissapeared to.

lettuce said...

no wine or beer?

the 2nd pic. is perfect

lucy said...

yes...even to me, you seemed stuck, i felt that and couldn't name it. your pictures grow in beauty, but there is rumination here without the same high-speed drama as earlier. but life is like that.

i hope you have a truly jolly and rollicking good summer.